GAPS Book

As healing through dietary intervention has been gaining popularity, new versions of similar diets are popping up.  This isn’t a new thing – GAPS is based on the specific carbohydrate diet, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the specific carbohydrate diet made improvements on some already existing dietary protocol as well.

Especially with the help of the internet, everyday families are not only finding out about diets, but they are encouraging one another to try different healing protocols with their own success stories.

One diet that keeps popping up in questions from my readers is the autoimmune paleo diet. Admittedly, we did GAPS to help with neurological issues and it’s really the only dietary protocol that I feel like I know well enough to give advice about, but I wanted to gain more of an understanding of the autoimmune protocol.

For a refresher on the GAPS diet, check out the GAPS intro stages, What is the GAPS Diet, and Transitioning off the GAPS diet here.

Similarities between GAPS and AIP:

Both protocols

  • Focus on healing the gut
  • Avoid grains
  • Encourage grassfed/wild meats
  • Avoid starchy foods
  • Allow coconut products
  • Allow vegetables and fruit
  • Encourage cultured vegetables and fruit, such as kimchi
  • Encourage healthy fats such as avocado oil, olive oil, and coconut oil

After the introduction stage, GAPS allows but AIP does NOT ALLOW:

  • Cultured dairy
  • Nightshade vegetables (eggplant, tomatoes, onions, peppers)
  • Pepper products (cayenne, black pepper, etc)
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Eggs
  • Honey
  • Butter

So what can you eat on the autoimmune paleo protocol?

You can eat what is really advocated in the GAPS diet anyway – lots of healthy veggies topped with fat (which helps stretch the budget as well), and grassfed meat.  Stir fries, soups, salads, fruit, burgers, steak, chicken, and more.  The only thing most experienced GAPSters will have to watch out for is nightshade vegetables and pepper spices (black pepper, cayenne).  Everything else should be fairly straightforward if you feel AIP is a better option for you.

On GAPS, SCD, and ‘regular’ paleo you can make more baked goods that indulge our sweet tooth, but for someone struggling with an autoimmune disease, using food as medicine is a priority over eating just to satisfy a craving.

I’ve talked a bit about the joint-gut connection and how autoimmune disease is tied to the gut here, but if you’d like to read more about it I recommend the book The Paleo Approach by Sarah Ballantyne.

In The Paleo Approach, Sarah Ballantyne shares studies, research, her own autoimmune story, and practical tips for implementing AIP.  Find The Paleo Approach here.

Already know that you want to do AIP, but are looking for more recipes?

The Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook (find it here) includes over 100 different recipes that are AIP compliant.